224 House Assembly

    Nix activated what he was starting to consider his 'Stealth package', which included stealth, Dragon Eyes, and the Ice ring.  He paused for a moment outside of the tunnel.  It was roughly three feet in diameter, not quite enough to warrant 'hands and knees' but a bit too small for walking stooped over.  The best option was walking with a very wide stance and exaggerated bent knees.  The first tunnel ended in a small intersection and three new tunnels.

    The natural warmth of the ground provided Nix with enough light to navigate, there were no thermal signatures visible in any direction.  He took the far-right option and continued the hunt.  Another minute of traveling saw a second intersection, this one was crammed with Tainted.

    [Ice Flames: Lance]

    Nix targeted the closest Tainted and insta-killed him. Immediately he reversed direction and headed back to the entrance.

    /Inferno: Nix: Incoming! These things are called the Tainted.  There's a dragon scale just under their skin that covers their hearts.

    /Inferno: Moki: Real dragon scales Nix?

    /Inferno: Nix: Yes.  Grab them all and store them in the Guild Treasury.  Later on, when we start learning Upper-plane recipes we'll use them up.

    /Inferno: Ronnie: I'll do the skinning.

    A few seconds later Nix exited the tunnel, a stream of nearly a dozen Tainted followed after him. The kill zone made tanks and healers irrelevant for this operation.  None of the targets that exited survived.

    /Inferno: Ronnie: Wow... they are weak.

    /Inferno: Nix: I have it on good authority that there are much stronger ones.

    Nix started back down the tunnel, hesitating for a moment outside the entrance.  "Damn... I'm so stupid.'

    Nix has activated his bloodline.

    [Second Form: Salamander]

    The tunnel that had been awkward for him a few minutes earlier proved much easier as the Emerald Salamander zipped easily through the small passages.  Nix returned to the same route and managed to find another group after a few minutes.

    Over the course of two hours, Nix continued to bring Tainted out of the tunnels.  During this time he discovered that each passage eventually led to a large central chamber.  The sounds of a battle could be heard in the distance.

    /Hunter: Nix: Enter the tunnels, far-right at the first intersection and then middle, middle and you'll run right into me.

    /Hunter: Jun Li: On our way.

    While Nix waited he considered the Dragon blood that Deidra had given him. Any human he gave it to would immediately become a dragon descended and would logically receive the entitled bonuses.  As a Salamander hybrid, he felt like it would be a betrayal to use it himself. Such a thing might benefit companions the most, however his companions didn't seem like the best fit.  He absolutely refused to evolve Soup any further, the Sea-Turtle was perfect as she was.  The thought of her developing spines, spikes or scales seemed wrong.


    [Solomon City: Greater House Assembly: 1500 hours]

    Fajii watched the proceedings with a fair amount of interest.  The Alchemist had a thirst for knowledge that many of her kind didn't possess.  This extended to just about everything, not only medicinal plants.  "The Empty Seat use to belong to the Oasis House?"

    Vooni nodded from the seat beside her. They sat in a large balcony area that looked down on the Greater House Cabinet.  Deidra Mtui presided over the group, her chair was in the exact middle of the 'U' shaped table.  "Yes, there was a good chance that they might ascend to that position once again, but ..."

    Fajii hid a smile.  Inferno had ensured that such a thing would no longer be possible.  These Greater Houses underestimated everyone, she could feel the arrogance that emanated from the table below.

    "The Chair recognizes the House of Aquarion." Deidra reluctantly called the Aquarion House.  After the Solomon City Administration topics were covered, each house was given the floor to address a single topic, if they chose.  The Aquarion House always chose to take the floor in these monthly meetings.

    The Aquarion male stood up, he was dressed in dark blue robes and wore his white hair cut short. "Thank you.  Today I would like to bring a formal complaint against a group that blatantly carried out a coordinated attack on the Aquarion House."

    Deidra understood that he was grandstanding, and didn't bother to even look at him.  Instead, she was scanning the upper seats.

    "The House of Tempest objects. This discussion is argumentative, not factual."

    "The House of Storms also objects, for the same reason, argumentative and not factual."

    Fajii lowered her voice and leaned closer to her trainer. "Is this normal?"

    Vooni shook her head.  "No.  This is not normal.

    Deidra turned to face the  Aquarion Speaker.  "Please stick to a presentation of the facts  House Speaker Tuli."

    The Aquarion forced a smile. "Four recent arrivals of Solomon City attacked several of our members while they were drinking at the River Tavern.  At the same time, our House was attacked and set on fire. Two of our Foundation members are missing along with several of our pillars. The raiding party also stole our tracking templates."

    "The House of Tempest objects. Who stands witness to this raiding party at the Aquarion House?"

    "The House of Storms also objects, for the same reason. Maybe the resulting damage to the Aquarion House was an experiment gone wrong. Please state facts that are backed by proof."

    Tuli gestured to a man sitting in the guest area.  "Fellow Speakers, this is Beni Vol, he is the owner of the River Tavern."

    The tavern owner was a short bald man with broad shoulders.  He moved forward until he was in the center of the 'U' table.

    Deidra already knew the tavern owner, it was normal for fights to break out regularly at his establishment. "I give you free rein to address this cabinet, Mr. Vol."

    Tuli brought up a small hud before looking back at the Tavern owner.  "You were present when the group I mentioned entered the River Tavern?"

    Beni nodded.  "I was."

    Fajii leaned close and whispered in Vooni's ear.  "Why no mention of Beta?"

    Vooni smiled.  "Beta is from the House of Dragons."

    Tuli continued.  "Which side started the fight?"

    "The fight was started by the newcomers."

    "The House of Tempest wishes to ask questions."

    Deidra nodded. "I'll allow it."

    The Speaker for the Tempest House was a dark-skinned woman with black eyes. She was dressed in plain leather armor and barely stood high enough to see over the table.  "Mr. Vol, I'm Sasi Qi from the House of Tempest. You stated that four newcomers started the fight?"

    The Tavern Keeper nodded.  "Yes."

    "What do you mean by newcomers?"

    "I heard them say that they recently passed their Planar Trials."

    "How many people from the Aquarion House were present, and did you recognize any of them?"

    "There were six of them, I only recognized Zeryn and Bikto."

    Sasi nodded, her fangs showing in a smile before she continued. "So... four rookies, took down six members of the Aquarion House. This included Two Pillars and a Foundation member."

    Beni nodded his bald head.  "Yes."

    "Interesting.  Did you see who attacked first?"

    Beni scratched his chin as he recalled the event.  "It was a gecko."

    The upper seating area erupted in loud laughter, this went on for several seconds before Deidra tapped her gavel on the table.

    Deidra glanced at the upper balcony.  "Quiet please."  Immediately everyone stopped laughing.

    Sasi turned slightly to face the Aquarion speaker, a small demon-like tail twitched behind her.  "What happened after this gecko attacked?"

    "Mass panic, the members of the Aquarion House started screaming and breaking things. They even attacked innocent bystanders."

    Sasi smiled at the man and dismissed him with a wave.  "The House of Tempest moves to close the floor."

    "The House of Storms seconds the motion."

    Deidra nodded.  "The motion is carried.  You have one minute to finish Speaker Tuli."

    Tuli forced a smile and nodded.  "We are going to pursue this matter.  The people in question are all members of an Oasis Guild called Inferno.  We cannot let this matter stand."

    "The House of Tempest objects, we are not allowed to raid the lower planes."

    "The House of Storms also objects, sending your people would cause an Archon burst.  This would result in our over-worked Breach Commanders being bothered."

    Deidra brought her gavel down on the table, instantly gaining everyone's attention. "The Inferno Guild Leader is a Breach Commander and is responsible for the well being of two separate lower-plane worlds.  Additionally, the House of Dragons is allied with the Inferno Guild.  I will view any act against them as an aggression towards me personally.
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